Most producers keep prices stable at end of Q3 / Only PA 6.6 sees minor reductions / October is start of a new quarter and new game / Buyers will insist on price cuts
In the vast majority of cases, European producers of engineering plastics managed to keep prices stable in the final month of the third quarter. In their negotiations, they referred to the valid quarterly agreements and rising costs across the benzene chains. Only with polyamide 6.6, which has been flying extremely high for some time now, did producers have to bite the bullet and lower prices. Although demand showed a few signs of picking up, it was well below a normal September with the usual topping-up activities. The crisis in the auto industry is still having a detrimental effect.
With the commodity-related materials, prices of polypropylene compounds fell significantly in line with the feedstock reference, while the ABS materials were a little firmer, following in the footsteps of the rise in the feedstock styrene.
October rings in the fourth quarter, and many buyers are fed up with having to put up with producers stubbornly defended price announcements, seemingly without being able to do anything about it. Caught in the dilemma between the high material costs and the purchases at their customers, they are left with no other option than to drop prices. In view of the tired end markets, where the slump will probably climax in December, producers will find themselves in a position where they have to yield at least partially to the pressure. The general impression is that, with many materials, the present margins should in fact offer sufficient scope for this.